Master Sewing and Design Certification Program

Monday, June 29, 2015

And The Winners Are....

Before Monday completely gets away from me, I wanted to announce the winners of the Dixie DIY Movies In the Park shorts pattern and the winner of the current issue of Sew News.
The winner of the Movies In The Park Shorts pattern is...
Congratulations Sewnski!!!

And the winner of the current issue of Sew News is....
Congratulations Linda T!!!!
Be sure to email me at so I can get your prizes out to you ASAP!!!
As soon as the first post is up for the sew along, I'll be sure to let all of you know.

Monday Morning Inspiration

I had the most interesting evening last night. My husband and I were attending the theater. Just as the production broke for intermission, the theater manager came on stage and said that the tornado sirens were sounding and we needed to evacuate to the basement. I was especially impressed by how well the situation was handled, but sitting in the theater basement was a very surreal experience. We were there for 45 minutes. The tornadoes rolled past without ever touching down, so all is well that ends well. The room where we were was where they built the stage sets. It was a lot of fun to see the miniature sets lining the walls. Always a silver lining ;)
Now on to a little inspiration to start off the week.
It's no secret that I love an interesting sleeve, and to be honest, the quirkier the sleeve, the more I like it. Not that I would necessarily wear it, but I love to look! The sleeves that I've found aren't all that quirky, a little, but still quite interesting.
I love how the back detail of this jacket flows into the shoulders and forms a sleeve. Great design!
The sleeve on this jacket, and actually, the entire collection is very reminiscent of armor. If you would like to take a look at the collection, you can see it HERE. There's a hood that's an especially interesting design. I don't care for the name of the company, but the designs are interesting.
I love the drape over the sleeve. We'll visit this again.
Now this is a lot of bows! What I found interesting is how it was done. Each is a separate strip tied into a bow.They are then held together with the cord that runs through the knots.
I saw this sleeve and I had to see more.
Here it is with the jacket. That's a lot of sleeve! A toned down version, very toned down, might be fun though.
This is such a beautiful sleeve, graceful and fluid. Take note that the drape is actually brought around and then hand stitched to the main body of the sleeve.
This sleeve is really quite simple, but I like how the hem is edged so that it blends with the pocket detail. I also like the simple detail of the elastic which gives the sleeve a bell shape.
The blouse is a raglan sleeve design, but the back forms a cape that is then brought around and buttoned to the front raglan seam.
I thought that this sleeve was very interesting, not very practical, but interesting nonetheless.
Now, this is practical and interesting. I love how the collar flows into the sleeve. Beautiful.
Fortuny, the master of the pleated design. Just simple little pleats on the underneath section of the sleeve and held together with buttons and loops.
Here's the gown, simple yet so beautiful.
From the book, Pattern Magic. This sleeve is similar to the sleeve I did HERE for Sleeves On Saturdays.
I found this rather interesting. I think I would tweak the design just a bit, but I do like how the side panel is pulled into the elastic gathers around the arm.
That concludes our little trip down Quirky street!
Have a lovely week!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Night Reflections

To get rid of what you no longer need is neither 
or shameful. 
                                                                                                   Marie Kondo

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Shorts/A Sew Along

Although I no longer run around outside without my shoes, one of my sweetest childhood memories is coming home after my last day of school,  kicking off my shoes and running out into the yard. The lush grass felt so wonderful between my toes! There were 2 things my mother saved for that glorious last day of school, going outside barefoot, and wearing shorts. Bare legs and bare feet, what a wonderful sense of freedom!  
My next sew along with Sew News is coming up quickly, just a few days away actually, Monday, June 29th.   Just in time for summer, we will be making a pair of shorts. Now, you may be asking, how difficult is it to make a pair of shorts? They really aren't that difficult, but we chose a pattern that offers a few possible techniques that you may not have tried, the Dixie DIY Movies in the Park Shorts.
Take note that the shorts have a bias tape bound edge, buttons, a waist yoke and pockets.
Here's the pair that I made.
I made a number of changes to the pattern, The pattern is actually the same, I just made some design changes. There's a custom bias edging, the pockets as well as the waist yoke have a piped edge. Also note that I did not run the buttons all the way to the bottom edge of the shorts.
In the sew along, I will discuss lengthening the shorts as there may be some who would rather a longer leg. This is a great sew along for anyone who is new to sewing, especially teenagers who have not done a lot of sewing, but would like to make something fun for the summer. Along the way, I think they'll learn techniques that will translate to lots of other projects.
The pattern is a downloadable pattern. I found it especially easy to put together, and as I've said in the past, downloadable patterns are instant gratification, buy it and have it immediately and you never have to leave your home!! If you would like to go ahead and purchase the pattern, you can find it HERE.
To kick off the sew along, Dixie is very graciously offering a free pattern and I also have a free issue of the current Sew News magazine to give away. I always love a giveaway!!!
The pattern will go to one lucky winner and the magazine to another. 
If you would like a chance at winning either of the prizes; 
1. Leave a message on this post
2. You must be a follower of this blog in order to win.
3. In your comment, please let me know how you follow, email, Bloglovin, Feedly, etc.
I will announce the winners on Monday, June 29, 2015
Good Luck! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Tuesday Morning Hello

A bright and cheery HELLO!!! from Chicago. After some rather ugly weather yesterday, we are having a very glorious day today. Sadly, some areas south of Chicago were devastated by tornadoes. Thankfully, it looks like no one was killed.
So I thought I would just do a quick check-in. I had planned to do a Monday Morning Inspiration post yesterday, but my day was a little too full, so I decided to just hold on to it until next week.
A few weeks ago I shared that I had put together my own little reading list for the summer. I started with a delightful book, The Gospel According To Chanel. I really enjoyed the book. The book is about Chanel and her life, how she became the icon that we all know her to be, but the author also talks about her own personal quest for a Chanel jacket. Not a Lagerfeld Chanel jacket, but a real Chanel jacket. I really don't think I am spoiling the story by telling you that she ends up buying real Chanel fabric and making a jacket. My only disappointment was that I wished she had talked a little more about the process of making her jacket. But all in all, the book is delightful, easy to read, and if you are at all interested in Chanel, I think it's worth the time spent.
The next book I read was recommended by a friend. She told me about the book a few years ago, I listened, but made no attempt to read the book. She again told me about the book this past January and wrote down the title. So when I was putting together the books that I thought I might like to read over the summer, I decided to look and see if our public library had it in their collection. They did, and oh my goodness. she was right, it's a wonderful book. I began reading it one afternoon, picked it up the next afternoon and finished it! It was that good and I just had to know the entire story! The book is entitled, Same Kind of  Different As Me.
It's a true story. There's so much more to the story than what you see on the cover. You will not look at a homeless person in the same manner once you read the book. The story is about struggle, faith and compassion. I HIGHLY recommend the book.
There are 5 more books on my reading list. As I said a few weeks ago, it's a rather motley group of books, but they all appealed to me.
First up, The Dressmaker. A fictional story about a seamstress who boards the Titanic. Now it's no secret about the fact that the Titanic sank, so I'm anxious to find out if she was one of the lucky few who made it off of the ship and if so, what happened to her life.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has been a huge success for the author. I'll let you know what I think once I get through it. I have been doing quite a bit of cleaning and clearing out, so I think that's one of the reasons that the book appealed to me. True confessions, I actually donated 2 large bags of shoes!!! I should probably be a little embarrassed, I'm not :), but I am very happy to have taken such a step.
Wild, From Lost To Found on the Pacific Coast Trail was recently made into a movie. I did see the movie and yes there are some rather explicit scenes. I felt that the story could have been told without the scenes being so explicit, but the story did intrigue me, so much so that I wanted to read the book. I think that the book will be a richer experience than the movie was. So we'll see.
The last 2 books were gifts. My husband bought the book The Wright Brothers for me. It has received great reviews and I am quite anxious to read it as I know that it will appeal to my other great passion, flying. The last book, The Gentle Art of Blessing, was given to me by a friend. It just appeared in the mail one day. She sent me a note and said that she thought I would enjoy the book because she feels that I am a blessing to so many. Could one ever receive a lovelier compliment?!!!
I've include links to Amazon for all of the books just in case you might like to read a little more about any of the books, or order one for yourself. If you have a public library near you, try them first. You never know what you might find there!
About 5 years ago, I attended a wonderful retreat called a Knitting and Yoga Adventure. The retreat is held on a very small island off the coast of Maine called Monhegan Island. The island is very remote and very enchanting. On September 13th, I'll board a plane for Portland, Maine and be on my way once again. I can't wait!!! If you would like a little glimpse into what the retreat is like, I've included a video below. Each day there is a morning hike, followed by a morning yoga session. In the afternoon there is a knitting session followed by a restorative yoga session. A massage therapist is along on the trip and everyone gets at least 1 massage during the week. The inn where we stay is so comfortable and the chef is incredible. The evenings are spent doing as you please. Many gather in the sitting room to knit and talk. It's a very stress free experience, participate in what you would like, and do whatever you would like.

Since I know I will be doing a good bit of hiking on the trip, I need to get a few things ready. I really need some cargo pants, so I started looking for a pattern and found Simplicity 3880. The pattern was for sale on Ebay, so I'll have to wait for it to arrive, but I have plenty of time.
I really need a good jacket with a hood for hiking, so I'm going to make the Minoru Jacket from Sewaholic. Should be perfect for damp Maine mornings.
Before I go, I would just like to thank a number of you who have sent emails and notes telling me how much you enjoy the blog. I so appreciate you kindness as well as your concern. Sometimes things break us for a reason. But breaks heal and the time spent healing can give us an insight into something new and exciting. As I wrote in this week's Sunday Night Reflections, here's to always refilling the glass!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Night Reflections

There are those who live with the idea that the glass is half empty, and those who believe that the glass is half full.
Try believing that the glass can be refilled. 
Why live half a life?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Eating For Your Future/Lettuce Wraps

It seems that the less I write, at least on the blog, the easier it is to not write. But in recent days, I have missed checking in, so maybe that's a good sign :)
This past week, I made a fun dish that I thought I would share. My husband loved them and I also thought they were especially good. Rather than using ground meat or ground chicken, I substituted quinoa for my lettuce wraps. You could actually make a regular salad and just top it with the quinoa mixture, but using a lettuce leaf as a wrap is fun!!! And I might add...a lot healthier too.  
Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

1 cup quinoa uncooked
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 bunch green onions chopped
1 carrot shredded
bib lettuce, or lettuce of choice for wrapping
1 avocado sliced

Cook quinoa according to package instructions. 
While quinoa is cooking, saute onion in olive oil until tender. Add garlic and saute for just about a minute longer. Add ginger and set aside until quinoa is completely cooked. Once quinoa is cooked, add to onion mixture. Add water chestnuts, soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Stir well and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes to combine flavors. Before serving, add peanuts and chopped green onions.
Arrange lettuce leaves on serving platter. Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of the quinoa mixture into the center of each leaf. You may be able to add more, just be careful to not over fill the lettuce leaves or they will be a little difficult to form into wraps. Top with shredded carrot and a slice of avocado.
Serve and enjoy!
I think these would pack well for lunches as they do not need to be served warm. If you are packing them for your lunch, pack the lettuce and quinoa separately so that your lettuce will remain crisp.  
And as I said earlier, you can always make a regular salad and just top it with the quinoa for a little something different.